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Evonik Industries has acquired a minority stake in Numaferm, a spin-off from Heinrich Heine University that is developing a process for making peptides using bacteria. Evonik is one of a handful of companies, including venture capital firms, that have invested a combined total of about $1.2 million in the spin-off. Numaferm claims it can make peptides at 1/1,000th of the price of standard chemical process costs (about $1.2 million per kg). Numaferm’s technology is cheaper partly because to make 1 kg of peptide, it uses 1 metric ton of raw materials compared with 25 metric tons for chemical processes, the firm says.
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